12 picture books for curling up by the fire this winter

Helga Laing Photo

I’m a beach girl at heart, but I’m slowly learning to embrace winter. (All the new books about hygge are helping). There are so many beautifully written and illustrated and picture books about winter, and they really do make the cold weather outside seem a little more charming and our fireplace feel a little more cozy. I rounded up some books we love curling up with on chilly winter nights. Push play to see my segment on Studio 5:

Also, Chronicle Books is generously giving away five of these books to one lucky winner!

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  1. Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner: A delightful tale of the secret kingdom of animals that lies under the snow each winter. In the back, there is a glossary of animals and what they do in the wintertime. My kids are fascinated by it and I learned a few new things from it too.
  2. Sleep Tight Farm by Eugene Doyle: The most beautifully illustrated tale of putting a farm to bed for winter.
  3. Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter by Kenard Pak: A brother and sister explore nature during their neighborhood’s transition from fall to winter. The illustrations beautifully capture the magic of the first snow of winter. I love how Kenard Pak’s books depict the beauty in each season. This book is the perfect way to welcome winter.
  4. Bunny Slopes by Claudia Rueda: My kids love interactive books and this is one of them! Kids get to help a bunny navigate his way through the slopes and see what happens when he falls down a rabbit hole.
  5. Mice Skating by Annie Silvestro: A magically illustrated story about a winter-loving mouse who braves the snow while everyone else is nestled underground. Will she be able to convince her friends how fun winter can be?
  6. The Story of Snow by Mark Cassino and Jon Nelson: This book is SO cool. It teaches kids how snowflakes are formed and how they really look close up. It was compiled by a fine art and natural history photographer with a specialty in snow crystals and a teacher and physicist who has studied ice crystals and clouds for 15 years. The book is filled with actual photos of all different kinds of snow crystals and kid-friendly facts about them. We’ll never look at snowflakes the same way again!
  7. Winter Dance by Marion Dane Bauer: This is a cute story of a fox searching for the right thing to do as winter approaches. He watches his animal friends do what they do every winter, but burrowing in the mud or wrapping himself in a chrysalis just doesn’t seem to be meant for him.
  8. William’s Winter Nap by Linda Ashman: A rhyming, counting book about a little boy and all the animals who tap on his door, one at a time, to snuggle up with him.
  9. Say Zoop by Herve Tullet: We love Herve Tullet books at our house and his newest one just might be our favorite! It’s an interactive journey through sounds. All my kids have fun with this one—from my toddler up to my 2nd-grader.
  10. The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers: If I had to pick a favorite author…don’t make me pick. But we adore Oliver Jeffers, and this book about a boy who literally (ha) eats books is so much fun. He’s devouring books and getting smarter at a rapid speed, but something has to give when his stomach can’t keep up and the words in his belly start to get all tangled up.
  11. Snow Sisters! by Kerri Kokias: This is a brand new book about two sisters who enjoy winter in their own unique ways. I especially relate to the one who chooses to curl up inside with a book and a cup of cocoa instead of braving the cold. This book is charming and would be especially fun for sisters.
  12. The Mitten by Jan Brett: Jan Brett is another favorite author, and The Mitten is one of her best books. In “The Mitten,” based on a Ukrainian tale, a little boy asks him grandma to make him white mittens, despite her caution that they’ll be easy to lose in the snow. Sure enough, the boy unknowingly drops one in the snow, and woodland animals cozy up in it one by one. When the boy finds his mitten, it’s strangely overstretched. The fun of Jan Brett’s books is that on the left side of every page, you can see what the main character is doing while the story continues, and get a sneak peek at what is coming next on the right side of the page.


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